This HT Venue MkII is a highly versatile amplifier suited to a wide range of playing
styles and situations.
The Clean Channel has two voices; one based on a classic American circuit and
the other based on a classic British tone. The Voice switch reconfigures the preamp
voicing, EQ and valve gain structure, as well as the power amplifier damping. This
produces a clean, bright and tight but solid bass response for the American tone
and a highly responsive ‘chime’ with looser bottom for the British tone that can be
pushed into a midrange overdrive when driven hard. The Voice setting can also be
selected via footcontroller.
The HT Stage MkII has two Overdrive channels which share a common EQ section
and, like the Clean Channel, each of the Overdrive channels has a Voice switch
which allows the character of each channel to be changed, providing a broad
palette of overdriven tones.
As with the Clean Channel, each of these voices can also be selected by
Foot controller. When switching between channels, the amplifier will recall the specific
Voice setting last used on that channel.
The Overdrive channels are characterised by a tone which is high in gain, but avoids
any of the detached top-end ‘fizz’ often found in other designs. This is a result of
unique preamplifier and power amplifier shaping techniques, which also benefit the
player in the way the overdrives clean up beautifully as the guitar volume is reduced.
Even at the most extreme settings, the Overdrive channels remain natural sounding.
The patented ISF (Infinite Shape Feature) control is unique to Blackstar Amplification
and represents a major step forward in tone shaping flexibility. The ISF control shifts
the response of the three control tone stack between, a US type response at one
end, and at the other, a UK type response. Importantly, in between the two extremes
lie an infinite number of alternative tone choices that would be otherwise unavailable.
The amplifier features naturally sounding digital reverb that can be adjusted via
the Reverb control on the front panel or turned on and off via the optional 5-way
footcontroller. A switch on the rear panel selects between ‘Dark’ and ‘Light’. The
Dark setting is based on a room reverb and the Light setting is based on a plate
A Power Switch is provided on the front panel to switch the amplifier between full
power and 10% power. This means that the full tonal depth of the EL34 power
stage can be enjoyed at any volume, retaining the distinctive sound of power valves
A USB connector allows for sending up to 4 channels of the guitar signal (dry,
preamp out and stereo emulated out) into a computer for recording purposes.
Two further outputs on the rear, a stereo jack socket and balanced XLR, also allow
the speaker emulated signal(s) to be connected to external devices for practicing,
recording or live use.